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Minister: Investments in Azerbaijan’s Economy Exceed $130 Billion

Investments in Azerbaijan's economy have exceeded $130 billion since 1995, Azerbaijani Economic Development Minister Shahin Mustafayev said at the Azerbaijani-Dutch business forum in Baku on Thursday.

"More than $130 billion, of which more than half falls to foreign investments, were invested in the country's economy as a result of the favorable investment and business sphere from 1995 up to now," Mustafayev said.

The minister said that about 70 companies with Dutch capital operating in the Azerbaijani banking and insurance sector, construction, industry, communication, transport, trade, agriculture invested $365 million in the country's economy. In January-July, the trade turnover between the two countries increased by 42 percent.

Prospects for further expansion of economic relations between the two countries were discussed during a bilateral meeting on Thursday between Mustafayev and Maxime Verhagen, who serves as both the Deputy Prime Minister of the Netherlands and as the country's Minister of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation.

Mustafayev said that at present, Azerbaijan has become a regional investor. The country has made significant investments in Turkey, Georgia, Russia, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, Romania and Switzerland.

"Azerbaijan is the political, economic and cultural center of the South Caucasus," Mustafayev said.

He said that the country's GDP tripled between 2004 and 2011, industrial production rose 2.7-fold, the non-oil sector of the economy rose by 2.2 times, state revenue increased 13-fold. At the same time, unemployment and poverty rates have dropped sharply.

"At present, Azerbaijan's foreign debt amounts to 7.4 percent of GDP, foreign exchange reserves exceeded the external debt by almost 10 times," Mustafayev said.

Source: Trend

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